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Blog Reviews from Gingle lists everything

Eating. Drinking. Clubbing. Free things. Fun things. Quirky things. This is what I do. This is what I will write about.These are things I list, cross off the list, and then replace with more new things on the list. Join me in my crossing off fetish.

  1. Almost every corner of New York has an unassuming shop that almost looks like a newsagents, but from which you can get these immense, amazing sandwiches. There are the standards – your Cuban, your Monte Cristo, or they can whip up a combination of your choosing. We do have some equivalents over here – I would say Basil’s sandwiches is one, but we don’t have exactly the same thing. And I wouldn’t say Delancey & Co is exactly the same thing either but it does have a similar, though more limited, ethos.

    Delancey’s does a few things, and, judging by what we had, does them well. You can get bagels (or sandwiches) with smoked salmon and all kinds of cream cheeses and 'load ups' (toppings), or you can get sandwiches with salt beef or smoked turkey, or you can get their signatures – the Reuben or the Bird or the Toky x Delancey - each a prescribed sandwich of salt beef, turkey or smoked salmon...

  1. Published : Friday, 22 May 2015

    Melt Room | Gingle lists everything: Melt Room, 4th May

    Given the surge in popularity of grilled cheese toasties in the capital, it was only a matter of time before someone tapped in on that and opened up a bricks and mortar place, rather than a street food van. And of course I had to try it.

    Prices are what you'd expect and they have some options that are definitely different (tuna bean!?) as well as just the classic which I had. I added onions and got some of their relish as well...

  1. Published : Monday, 27 July 2015

    Bao Soho | Gingle lists everything: Bao, 13th June

    It happened. I queued for a food place. For almost an hour. It could only be Bao. But was it worth it?

    Well, firstly I would like to say that queuing was never our intention. I knew it opened at 5:30 and we got there at almost 5:30 on the dot and were about to waltz in when we were directed to the people lining up on the other side of the street. We had actually thought we were the first to arrive and we were not the only ones who mistakenly tried to circumvent the queue because they didn't see it. I knew there weren't many spaces inside but it was hard to tell from the line how much of it would fit in one go so we joined. And slowly... very slowly... they started taking people in and filling the place. This whole process took around half an hour in itself until finally the final two people of the first sitting were lead in. Leaving Stephen and I first in line! Of course, we couldn't just leave then, not when we knew only two people had to leave for us to get inside...

  1. That Natural Philosopher is a charming, ramshackle little cocktail bar that I liked very much. It’s just a shame no one else seems to. Or perhaps they just don’t know about it. Even though it isn’t hiding itself you could probably walk past it and not quite realise it was there.

  1. Published : Tuesday, 13 October 2015

    Trade | Gingle lists everything: Trade

    Trade is, I think, a bit of a local’s secret. I was meeting a friend for brunch (my breakast as I had only just got up, his lunch) and had planned to go to Hotbox but just thought I’d check out the menu for Trade and suddenly thought I wanted to try that instead. When I arrived I walked right in and was just behind two other people. There wasn’t really a queue. Two minutes later and one practically stretched out the door!

  1. Published : Tuesday, 23 June 2015

    Corner Room | Gingle lists everything: Corner Room, 9th May

    The food at the Corner Room was just lovely! And yet, when Stephen asked me if I would go back I said probably not. Why is that? Well, because we go to restaurants for more than simply eating. We go for an experience we can't get at home and something about this experience lacked, though it is hard to say exactly why.

    Something about the ambience was just a little off. This was meant to be Nuno Mendes's informal neighbourhood restaurant (though he's no longer there) but, while the prices are pretty good, it doesn't feel as laid back as it should. Or, it feels too laid back but in a non-comfortable way. A bit like a posh country house's dining room. A home but not your home. I don't know. Stephen felt the same...

  1. Published : Wednesday, 3 June 2015

    Ragam | Gingle lists everything: Ragam, 7th February

    The sole reason I know about Ragam is because I follow Ben Goldacre on Twitter and about 3 years ago he raved about it. He’s a pretty sensible, logical guy – always tweeting about evidence – and so I considered him trustworthy even on food. I was right to do so.

    Stephen had been doing PescaJanuary (no meat, fish allowed) and we decided to celebrate him rejoining the carnivorous fold by going for a curry with a few friends. Having a few of us gave the perfect excuse to have a smorgasbord of starters before getting a main dish each. Some of these weren’t the easiest thing to share but we just about managed...

  1. Published : Tuesday, 17 November 2015

    Wazen | Gingle lists everything: Wazen, 7th October

    As you walk to King’s Cross from Farringdon, Wazen sits unassumingly on a corner in what looks like an old pub. Inside it is understated but warm. They have only just opened and I was invited along to sample some of their dishes and sake. What an absolute treat for me that was.

    As with any event involing free food you had to be pretty quick off the mark to actually get any and there were definitely several dishes I didn’t even see until they were half eaten by other people, let along get to try. But what I did try was mostly exquisite.

  1. After three hours of solid dancing, I felt I could treat myself to a brunch at the Electric Diner, a short walk away. I went for a slightly healthier option as I fancied getting a milkshake too, so I had avocado on toast with a poached egg. The place was pretty buzzing but they managed to squeeze me in at the bar, which is perfect for solo dining.

  1. Published : Tuesday, 7 April 2015

    Babaji | Gingle lists everything: Babaji, 9th March

    Levantine food, Turkish food, I’m lapping it up. So I really wanted to try Alan Yau’s new casual place in Piccadilly, Babaji Pide Salonu, which is dishing up some traditional Turkish food with a focus on pide (their version of pizza, a bit like their lahmacun but, I think, doughier bread and differently shaped).

    It’s a no-bookings deal but it was 7pm on a Monday so we didn’t think there would be too much trouble getting in and indeed we only had to wait ten minutes. The narrow space on the ground floor is deceiving so if it looks full fear not, there are plenty more tables upstairs. Many people have commented on the décor of Babaji and it’s easy to see why. It’s polished yet cosy and feels like an upmarket tea salon...

  1. Published : Wednesday, 29 April 2015

    Shackfuyu | Gingle lists everything: Shackfuyu, 4th April

    The French toast at Shackfuyu seems to be taking on a life of itself. I have even seen it described as ‘iconic’ and that if you don’t have it when you’re there then you haven’t done Shackfuyu right. So of course we ordered it. And it was good. Really good. I would describe it as like bread and butter pudding but without the annoying raisin bits and condensed into one intense triangle. It is served with matcha green tea ice cream, and while this wasn’t particularly offensive, neither did I enjoy it all that much. I don’t like tea, or green tea, so obviously I’m a little biased. It was smooth and creamy but I thought it left a sort of minerally taste in my mouth I didn’t love. I’d have happily had just vanilla ice cream with it, and for this reason I can’t jump on the hype wagon for this dish...

  1. Published : Wednesday, 16 March 2016

    Chop Shop | Gingle Lists Everything Chop Shop

    I do love it when a Time Out offer comes along and coincides with a place I’ve had on my List anyway. And thus I got to try out Chop Shop on Haymarket for the princely sum of &25 for three courses and a cocktail. And trust me, with the food they are serving, this was a hell of a steal.
    I booked for 7 pm which happened to be happy hour so we started with a cocktail that was not included in the set menu for half price. I had the creamy Rosemary’s baby – a cocktail subtley laced with rosemary and bulked with ‘custard’. A creamily good start although I would ordinarily order something like this later in the night.

  1. Published : Wednesday, 25 May 2016

    Lounge Bohemia | Gingle lists everything Lounge Bohemia

    I knew Lounge Bohemia had been around for a good while and mused that I wouldn’t be as impressed with it as I might had been, had I not frequented so many ‘speakeasy’ style bars already. For this is what I assumed Lounge Bohemia would be – it has an unmarked entrance, you have to make a booking by phone etc, all very underground drinking den. But I was quite wrong. Underground it is, but not in the prohibition-style. Instead, you wander down into some kind of retro time warp. Funky and bright and full of Ikea-like furniture and paper lamps; tables and chairs were in the main area and little inset caverns along one edge. Water was provided in kitsch plastic jugs that you might take camping.

  1. Published : Wednesday, 25 May 2016

    Rotorino | Gingle lists everything Rotorino

    I had wanted to go to Rotorino since it first opened but neither of my foodie partners in crime were keen. They may have had a point, as it was a little hit and miss.

    My companion was a bit of a glutton and wanted to do it right – a primi, secondi and thirdi course. Plus dessert. I knew I wouldn’t be able to manage that much but was happy to try a bit of his along the way. He ordered the bresaola as his primi, whereas I, of course, couldn’t resist the bread-based starter of ‘Three toasts’ – three rather large slices of bread topped with tomatoes, cannellini beans and cime de rapa (not all at once).

  1. Published : Wednesday, 25 May 2016

    Bad Egg | Gingle lists everything Bad Egg

    Bad Egg has been on the List for quite some time, and I finally made it down. I have to say, it was a little disappointing for me but I wouldn’t write it off completely. We all chose from the burger/sandwich menu. My veggie friend got the mac and cheese burger, my other friend had the chicken burger, and I got the buffalo ribwich.

    My sandwich was ridiculous. A huge, square slab of pork belly, breadcrumbed and plopped in a burger bun with buffalo sauce and (somewhere) blue cheese mayo. A delicate leaf of lettuce was almost comical in its pointlessness. I couldn’t taste the blue cheese mayo at all, against the intense tanginess of the buffalo sauce.

  1. Honey & Co – done. Palomar – done. Arabica also had to be done. So I made a reservation for one Friday night to cross it off the list.

    It wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Knowing it was borne out of a food truck I expected a more intimate setting but this is definitely a fully fledged restaurant. Though our slightly clumsy waitress gave it the less polished feel I had anticipated!

    Choosing what to eat was a task as pretty much everything made my mouth water. But they had a few interesting-sounding dishes that particularly stood out.

  1. Published : Wednesday, 5 October 2016

    Padella | Gingle lists everything

    I’ve been itching to get to Padella. I never used to be a huge pasta fan, but ever since having some silky smooth and buttery pasta at Vasco and Piero, I have been searching for other Italian places to give me the same experience (preferably for less money).
    Padella is the fast-serve pasta place from the guys behind Trullo. It’s small and trendy, and doesn’t take bookings so queuing is the name of the game. Unless you can get there early.

  1. Published : Monday, 7 November 2016

    The Gibson | Gingle lists everything The Gibson

    There’s very little point in going to Hill & Szrok if you don’t eat meat. They started as a Butchery and cookshop in Broadway market and their pub is pretty much an excuse to show off the meat they butcher. Having said that, there are a few sides which are just as good to eat as the meat.

    The saut&ed potatoes were gorgeously golden discs of salty crunchiness and soft potato inside. Hispi cabbage which seems to be flaunting itself all over town on many a menu was as good here as I’ve had elsewhere – sprinkled with chilli to liven it up and apparently anchovy was also somehow involved although I couldn’t spot where. Blended into the sauce it was dressed with I imagine. It was a really delicious bit of veg. The salad we ordered was probably unnecessary and barely got a look in after the cabbage and potatoes were all done. It was crisp and fresh but rather too mustardy for me.

  1. Published : Wednesday, 4 January 2017

    Dum Biryani House | Gingle lists everything Dum Biryani House

    I was unexpectedly contacted by Dhruv, the man behind DUM Biryiani, newly opened in Soho, inviting me to review the place. He said he liked my blog – clearly he has good taste, which boded well for his new restaurant.

    Dum might sound like an odd choice for a restaurant name but Dum biryani is actually a specific dish native to Hyderabadi. So, this is another of those ‘one choice’ places, with either lamb or veg (mushroom, chickpease, and potatoes) biryani being the two choices for mains. With these there’s a handful of starters or sides and we ended up trying all of them except the prawns because I have allergies.

    This may sound a little greedy but I had been waiting for my friend for almost an hour by the time she arrived, slowly being driven mad by the tantalising smells though somewhat soothed by the gentle Snoop Doog being played in the background. So by the time she arrived, I was starving, despite demolishing a plate of the masala nuts while I sipped on a cocktail. With the spicy coating it was hard to tell what nuts they were but I definitely spied peanut and cashew and maybe one other. They are fried and coated with a homemade spice mix which was not afraid of some real heat and were completely moreish. Perfect snacking.

  1. Weekends to me mean brunch, and brunch very often means pancakes. The fluffy American kind (even though I’m a lover of the thin, English kind too). When I saw Where the Pancakes Are had opened up I was delighted.

    They’ve set up in the newly created area that is Flat Iron Square on Bankside, where you can expect to find more foodie type places and even a new venue called Omeara to make up for the shortfall in London from all the ones we’ve recently lost.

    I headed there on a Saturday afternoon at about 1 and we only had to wait all of ten minutes, if that, for a table (of course it is no bookings). I think I was there in its first couple of weeks though so don’t take that as gospel that you’ll always get seated so quickly! Especially now this new area is becoming more widely known.

  1. Published : Monday, 7 November 2016

    Fanny Nelsons | Gingle lists everything Fanny Nelsons

    I had a plan. I would try three libations of each sort on offer – one cocktail, one wine and one draught beverage. But best laid plans and all that… I did not stay long enough to complete the mission. Nor was I able to try as much of the food as I would have liked. But I was there long enough to realise that the Fanny Nelson is a charming, cosy little pub which manages to be perfect date material but also seems to have a very healthy handful of locals – both of the hipster and genuine East End local variety, who all seemed to know the bar staff by name.

    What I ended up having was the Jamonero - dark rum, peach, red wine and yellow chartreuse. Which, it turns out, had only just been added to the menu. The barman was very keen to hear my views upon tasting it as he’d come up with it. It had quite a sweetness to it, reminding me of a punch, which was fine to start but I couldn’t drink it all night. It so happened he agreed but he said he thought he had a more sour palate than most. I guess I do too…